Pi-Hole in the home….

Been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I think I’ll restart with something fun.

So a buddy of mine sent me a youtube link…and I like youtube links…especially when it’s a chance to learn something techy… I spend most of my day with techy websites and such playing in the background…(it occupies that ADHD part of my brain that screams at me about Rugby scores when I’m trying to compose a professional email.)

So I spent 30 minutes and set up a couple of “PI-Hole” servers (I used VM’s running ubuntu 20.04, but you can actually, as the name suggests, set this up on a Raspberry PI) for small-form-factor recursive physical DNS servers..

I don’t usually post things like this… But the effect of throwing these into my system has been no less than amazing, and I felt like I had to tell someone.

Three things.

First – The Pi-Hole functionality is a VERY effective ad-blocker. And blocking ads at the DNS level works very differently than ad-blocking in the browser. For one, you don’t get the annoying “Hey you’re running an ad-blocker” pop-ups… Because as far as the website is concerned, the ads are being referenced… They’re just not being served anymore…

Secondly, by using “Unbound” along with Pi-Hole, you stop using other-people’s DNS servers, which means that when you make a request, your query is executed against the root DNS servers, going directly to the registrar, and not your ISP’s (or google’s, etc) and that means your request is mostly private. (Bonus points if you run the Pi-Hole over a VPN so your outbound DNS lookups are encrypted.)

Lastly, it’s a caching DNS server. Which means once you’ve looked something up, everything from that point on is cached at the dns server. This means that for people like me, who go to the same websites over and over again, you’re getting a direct cached reply instead of having to actually look an IP address up with every request.

So check out this interesting video with the how-to from Craft Computing, along with his obligatory beer review, which I always love.

Short version of the install instructions can be found in the body of the youtube post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.